JUNEAU, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau Senator Dennis Egan provided his take on the status of the second special legislative session while a guest on Action Line that will air later this morning.
He will act as the majority leader for a technical session this morning. Another technical session is scheduled for Friday.
"The oil tax credits are the only thing on the agenda, although the governor can add anything to the call that he wants to. In fact, when we passed House Bill 57 for the operating budget, the governor issued that call to include House Bill 111 ten minutes before we adjourned. I think a lot of people were burned out and wanted to take a few days off, so now, we're going to be tackling that next Monday."
That's Monday, July 10th. The 30 day session ends after Saturday, July 15.
A capital budget is still pending approval.
"It's going to really be close because the federal fiscal year ends September 30th and the new fiscal year starts October 1st for the federal government, so there are some DOT projects that may be in jeopardy if we don't tackle the capital budget really soon."
Senator Egan is pleased with passage of an operating budget in time for the start of the new fiscal year.
"The governor didn't veto any of the operating budget, which was great news for Juneau; we continue to fish, and our schools are at least at state level from last year. No increases, but at least it's not going to take a 5% cut like the Senate Majority was suggesting."
Savings were used to fill a budget deficit leaving just $2 Billion in the Constitutional Budget Reserve.
"Thank heavens that the Senate Finance Committee - which I was a part of at the time - infused more money into the Constitutional Budget Reserve about five years ago. If we hadn't done that, the state would've been dead broke now."
The Alaska Legislature continues its special session in Juneau, even though hardly any activity is taking place for the next week. Still, that sets a record for the most consecutive days in session at 165. It beats the previous record from 1981, although other years have had more special sessions after lawmakers left Juneau.
The Legislative Affairs Agency estimates each day of the special session costs about $30 thousand.